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Free Will

Edited by Justin Capes (Flagler College)
About this topic
Summary Most philosophers and laypeople believe that under most conditions human beings, perhaps along with some other animals, possess a power of selecting and implementing actions which is special. This power is very widely held to be a necessary condition of responsibility for actions, for autonomy and for being entitled to take pride in (or to feel shame for) one's achievements. The free will debate in philosophy aims at elucidating the nature of that power as well as at identifying potential threats to it and explaining how it can exist. A major focus of the debate is the compatibility of free will with causal determinism. A minority of philosophers deny that we have free will because free will is incompatible with causal determinism.
Key works The free will debate is ancient in Western philosophy, but was first developed systematically by scholastic thinkers concerning about the relationship free will and God's foreknowledge (eg Ockham 1983). The rise of mechanistic science brought determinism to the forefront and played an important role in the development of compatibilism by philosophers like Hume (Hume 1777). The advent of Frankfurt-style cases (Frankfurt 1969) transformed the late 20th century debate, by allowing compatibilists to dispense with the principle of alternate possibilities (see McKenna & Widerker 2003 for important contributions to this debate). At the same time, important new libertarian views have been developed by thinkers like Robert Kane (Kane 1996) and Timothy O'Connor (O'Connor 2000). Very recently, there has been a revival of free will skepticism (Strawson 1994; Levy 2011).
Introductions O'Connor 2005;McKenna 2008; Clarke & Capes ms
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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Free Will
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  2. F. D. D. (1975). The Cosmology of Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 28 (4):762-762.
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  3. Victorino De La Fuente (1967). The Normal Pattern of Man's Ethical Behaviour. New York, Pageant Press.
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  4. Daniel Deudney (1999). Firming the Foundations : Constitutionalizing and Memorializing the Free World Complex. In Josef Janning, Charles Kupchan & Dirk Rumberg (eds.), Civic Engagement in the Atlantic Community. Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers
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  5. Thomas Digby (1983). Corporations and Morality. Review of Metaphysics 36 (4):921-922.
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  6. Jörg Disse (2009). Teilhabe and Gottes Freiheit : Zum Freiheitsverständnis in Hans Urs von Balthasars Theodramatik. In Edith Düsing, Werner Neuer & Hans-Dieter Klein (eds.), Geist Und Heiliger Geist: Philosophische Und Theologische Modelle von Paulus Und Johannes Bis Barth Und Balthasar. Königshausen & Neumann
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  7. Jörg Disse (1994). Kierkegaards Phänomenologie der Freiheitserfahrung. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 56 (4):782-783.
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  8. Jörg Disse (1991). Kierkegaards Phänomenologie der Freiheitserfahrung. Verlag Karl Alber.
    Das Buch befasst sich mit der Struktur konkreter Freiheitserfahrung am Beispiel der Existenzanalyse Kierkegaards in seinen pseudonymen Hauptwerken. Entgegen dem (Vor-)Urteil der Moderne, Freiheit könne nur als uneingeschränkte Autonomie adäquat verstanden werden, wird mit Kierkegaards Phänomenologie konkreten Existierens Freiheit als eine im Gottesverhältnis gipfelnde Dialektik von Autonomie und Abhängigkeit dargestellt. Grundlage der Interpretation bildet die Auslegung von Kierkegaaards Existenzstadien als einer Theorie verschiedener Freiheitsstadien, von der aus das Verhältnis von Freiheit und Endlichkeit, Freiheit und Gottesverhältnis sowie Freiheit und Objektivität expliziert (...)
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  9. Steven M. Duncan (2012). Yeomans, Christopher. Freedom and Reflection: Hegel and the Logic of Agency. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 66 (1):174-175.
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  10. Berkley B. Eddins (1963). Empiricism, Necessity and Freedom. Review of Metaphysics 16 (3):556 - 558.
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  11. Matthew C. Eshleman (2010). What is It Like to Be Free? In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Routledge
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  12. Paul Fitzgerald (1984). Time, Action and Necessity. Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):621-623.
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  13. M. Forge (1998). Responsibility and the Scientist. In Martin Bridgstock (ed.), Science, Technology, and Society: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press 40.
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  14. Shan Gao, The Basis of Indeterminism.
    We show that the motion of particles may be essentially discontinuous and random.
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  15. John D. Glenn Jr (2012). The Very Idea of Free Will. Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):65-71.
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  16. Angela de Castro Gomes (1997). A Construção de Mitos E Os Usos Do Passado Nacional: Vargas E Perón. História 16:109-130.
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  17. Lorenzo Greco (2011). Claudia Portioli (ed.), Natura e libertà (Perugia: Morlacchi, 2009). [REVIEW] Rivista di Filosofia 102 (2):322-23.
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  18. Hallett (1982). The Role and Responsibility of the Moral Philosopher. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 56:95-101.
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  19. William Halverson (1966). Moral Freedom and Metaphysics. World Futures 4 (4):61-70.
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  20. Alastair Hannay (1972). Freedom and Plastic Control. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):277 - 296.
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  21. R. M. Hare (1978). Prediction and Moral Appraisal. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 3 (1):17-27.
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  22. Dirk Hartmann (2005). Willensfreiheit und die Autonomie der Kulturwissenschaften. E-Journal Philosophie der Psychologie 1.
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  23. L. Heidbrink (1996). The Problem of Historical Responsibility. Philosophisches Jahrbuch 103 (2):225-247.
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  24. Fleur Jongepier (2011). Recensie: Voerman en van de Laar: Vrije Wil. [REVIEW] Wijsgerig Perspectief 51 (3):38-39.
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  25. Richard Kuhns (1987). Governing of the Self: Laws and Freedom. In Robert Stern (ed.), Theories of the Unconscious and Theories of the Self. Analytic Press 48.
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  26. Hans Lenk & Matthias Maring (1991). A Pie-Model of Moral Responsibility. In Georg Schurz (ed.), Advances in Scientific Philosophy. 483--494.
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  27. G. M. (1973). The Nature of Moral Responsibility. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 27 (1):155-156.
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  28. M. B. M. (1971). Freedom and the Moral Life. Review of Metaphysics 25 (1):136-136.
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  29. W. L. M. (1963). In Defense of Politics. Review of Metaphysics 16 (3):580-580.
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  30. D. M. MacKay (1961). Logical Indeterminacy and Freewill. Analysis 21 (4):82 - 83.
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  31. G. E. Moore (1912). Free Will. In Ethics. Oxford University Press
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  32. Catherine Moran (2003). If the Coat of Moral Responsibility Fits, Wear It. Ethics Education 9 (1).
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  33. José Manuel Muñoz Ortega (2012). Hacia una sistematización de la relación entre determinismo y libertad. Daimon: Revista de Filosofia 56:5-19.
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  34. Patrick Neil O'Sullivan (1977). Intentions, Motives and Human Action: An Argument for Free Will. University of Queensland Press.
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  35. José Manuel Muñoz Ortega (2012). Hacia una sistematización de la relación entre determinismo y libertad. Daimon: Revista de Filosofia 56:5-19.
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  36. Christopher Peacocke (1998). Free Will. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Contemporary Issues in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press
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  37. D. Pears (1991). Responsibility-Repudiators Referring to the Divided Center of Action in the Physical Agent. Filosoficky Casopis 39 (1):54-61.
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  38. D. Pereboom (2009). Can God Be Free? Philosophical Review 118 (1):121-127.
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  39. M. Francisco Pérez (1990). Libertad individual frente a determinación social. Revista de filosofía (Chile) 4 (1):161-198.
    The paper explores different possibilities in order of maintaining a compatibilism between free will, in a strong sense, and determinism. The notion of determinism is analyzed in deep. It is defended a general conception of free will as a certain kind of mental causation in absence of fatalism. Also, it is argued that other compatibilist possibilities would be possible inside that general conception of free will, being some of them more radical than other ones.
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  40. Milan Polić & Rajka Polić (2009). Vrijeme, slobodno od čega i za što? Filozofska Istrazivanja 29 (2):255-270.
    S razvitkom kapitalizma sve više se govori i piše o slobodnom vremenu, a njegovim komercijaliziranjem razvile su se unosne gospodarske grane: »industrija zabave«, turizam i sport. Kapital, međutim, slobodno vrijeme najprije prepoznaje kao vrijeme slobodno od rada, tj. kao besposlicu, a tek u najnovije doba – kada je naučio kako od njega profitirati – i kao vrijeme slobodno za učenje i stvaralaštvo, tj. kao dokolicu.Razlika između besposlice koja teži potrošnji i dokolice koja se ispunjava samodjelatnošću mnogima je još nejasna. A (...)
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  41. Skipp Porteous (1997). Freely Ye Have Inquired? Free Inquiry 17.
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  42. A. Potter (1998). Phl 341f Readings. Custom Publishing Service, University of Toronto Bookstores.
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  43. Jesse Preston & Daniel M. Wegner (2009). Elbow Grease: When Action Feels Like Work. In Ezequiel Morsella, John A. Bargh & Peter M. Gollwitzer (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Human Action. Oxford University Press 569--586.
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  44. Douglas B. Rasmussen (1982). The Role and Responsibility of the Moral Philosopher. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 56:162-172.
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  45. S. P. Rastorguev (2009). Vospominanii͡a o Dushe: Matematika Virtualʹnykh Sushchnosteĭ.
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  46. Moira Roberts (1965). Responsibility and Practical Freedom. Cambridge [Eng.]University Press.
    This book may be taken as a plea for a return to a teleological moral philosophy.
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  47. Iñaki San Pedro (2013). On Free Will and No-Conspiracy. In Tilman Sauer & Adrian Wüthrich (eds.), New Vistas on Old Problems: Recent Approaches to the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge 87-102.
    In this paper, I challenge the widespread view that Measurement Independence adequately represents the requirement that EPR experimenters have free will. Measurement Independence is most commonly taken as a necessary condition for free will. A number of implicit assumptions can be identified in this regard, all of which can be challenged on their own grounds. As a result, I conclude that Measurement Independence-type conditions are not to be justified by appealing to the preservation of the EPR experimenters’ free will.
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  48. Steve Savitt, Subj: Determinism/Becoming.
    In response to the discussion of the "now" in PSYCHE - D, I sent a message (in 1996) to be posted, which the moderator killed. I think he (probably correctly) thinks the discussion is getting off topics appropriate for his list. At any rate, I wished to put a question to you (Henry Stapp) that you might (or might not) wish to address off list.
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  49. Michael Schleifer (1972). Instrumental Conditioning and the Concept of the Voluntary. Ethics 82 (2):163-170.
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  50. G. Schlesinger (1968). Confirmability and Determinism. Philosophical Quarterly 18 (70):29-39.
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